Jeden, dwa, trzy… the second most spoken language in England is Polish, according to new statistics.
A census of residents of England and Wales found that well over half a million speak Polish, reflecting the large number of immigrants who have come to Britain from eastern Europe over the past decade.
In one London supermarket, newspaper racks are stacked with Polish newspapers. An “alchohol” sign has another alongside it reading “alkohol”, though the store’s owner accepts his customers hardly need the translation.
“Some of them (Polish immigrants) actually speak better than me after five years and I’ve been here 65 years. Yes, most of them speak English. Some, obviously takes time, because English language is very difficult to learn,” said Wladyslaw Mleczko.
The survey found that nearly 140,000 residents spoke no English at all, while almost three quarters of a million spoke it badly.
Many Poles though go to great lengths to learn the language of their adopted country.
“In terms of the work ethic, you know, these guys are working ten-hour days and then they’re coming here in the evenings afterwards, so I take my hat of to them for that. I wouldn’t do the same,” said English teacher Tom Easten.
The new arrivals have brought their culture – and some controversy – to Britain, but can they make themselves understood?
“I like living here, but why does it always rain?!” chanted three students in semi-comprehensible unison.
- 1Tsipras says if Greeks approve the EU’s aid plan, Syriza will resign rather than see it through
- 2The end of the road for Uber? Executives detained by French police
- 3Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 4Greece to default on IMF loan on Tuesday as banks close and panic buying begins
- 5Croatian President Kolinda Grabar- Kitarovic from peace, recession to feminism
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 3[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 4Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 6Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 7Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 8Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 9‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 10Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria focus of EU cash fraud probes
- 11NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 12Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 13Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for accused ex-FIFA bosses
- 14Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 15Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 16Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 17Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
- 18Hungary: billboard war sparks international concern
- 19[Latest] AKP loses its majority as Kurdish party enter Turkish Parliament
- 20Warming to Tbilisi
Wires > News
- 04:10 CET U.S. spy agency wiretapped two French finance ministers – Wikileaks
- 04:08 CET Four Israelis wounded in suspected Palestinian West Bank shooting
- 04:07 CET Car bomb in Yemeni capital hits mourners, dozens wounded
- 03:02 CET Amnesty slams Egypt over arrests of youths
- 00:54 CET Burundi votes in boycott-hit poll; blasts, gunfire heard
- 23:59 CET Insight – France bets on Arab Sunni states as Iran nuclear deal…
- 23:54 CET Yemeni forces launch Scud missile at Saudi Arabia – Yemen military…
- 23:42 CET ICC prosecutor pleads for U.N. Security Council to act on Darfur…